Poll: Iron Plates or Bumpers for home Gym?

For home Gym with Olympic lifts over 500#, Bumper or Iron plates?


  • Total voters
    31

TangoSierra916

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  • Oct 11, 2017
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    Hey everyone,

    second question on this topic of building a new home gym. I've used traditional iron plates for years now but am looking to get more into explosive movements my older now sold home gym equipment wouldn't allow for (i.e cleans, jerks, dead-lifts, presses). Irons never held me back but due to my setup the more Olympic style lifts were not possible safely or functionally within the constraints of the setup.

    That being said I would like high quality but maybe not the best or most expensive, unless there are big pros, plates that allow for 500+# lifts.

    Currently looking at plates like: Rogue Comp bumpers, Rogue Urethane bumpers, Rep Fitness Comp Bumpers, Titan Urethane Bumpers or Rogue calibrated iron plates and similar plates.

    Usage: Plates will be used across multiple exercises/lifts with bars at the Rogue Ohio Bar/Olympic bar quality level.

    Based on your experience and ideally home gym setups, do you recommend bumpers or traditional iron plates? I've herd good arguments both ways, curious on the pulse of the group, thank you!
     

    PBWalsh

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    Feb 10, 2017
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    Uhhh both preferably. Iron for static lifts such as squats and bench. Bumpers for olympic stuff and deadlifts.

    In fact when I deadlift, I put on a single 45# bumper on each side and fill the rest of the weight in with with iron. With traditionally sized 45# bumpers, you’ll run out of space if pulling over 495#.

    Most bumpers are slightly larger in diameter than iron plates so if you fail or set them down after a lift, only the bumper hits the ground, not the iron.

    For power cleans, I use bumpers only. If you’re cleaning over 495, you need to try out for the olympics!

    Rouge has some thin bumpers on one of their lines, very high quality and gives you more bar sleeve space. Gym I go to has a few pairs and I’ll only use them when attempting max lifts.
     

    TangoSierra916

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  • Oct 11, 2017
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    Uhhh both preferably. Iron for static lifts such as squats and bench. Bumpers for olympic stuff and deadlifts.

    In fact when I deadlift, I put on a single 45# bumper on each side and fill the rest of the weight in with with iron. With traditionally sized 45# bumpers, you’ll run out of space if pulling over 495#.

    Most bumpers are slightly larger in diameter than iron plates so if you fail or set them down after a lift, only the bumper hits the ground, not the iron.

    For power cleans, I use bumpers only. If you’re cleaning over 495, you need to try out for the olympics!

    Rouge has some thin bumpers on one of their lines, very high quality and gives you more bar sleeve space. Gym I go to has a few pairs and I’ll only use them when attempting max lifts.
    amen to that! I definitely am not cleaning 495 but am looking to get more into cleans now that I’ll have the setup to do so. I like the idea of both an your explanation makes sense, I appreciate the response!
     
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    Vandy321

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    Dec 12, 2018
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    If you get comp bumpers, you wont run out of room on the bar unless you are an absolute monster, we're talkin world class type strength. The rogue urethane ones though you may, those are thick.

    I'll play devils advocate...if price is no object, why not just get all comp bumper plates? Plenty of folks squat and DL with those, you dont need iron plates specifically for squat/bench/DL.

    16.4" sleeve on most rogue bars...pic below for ref.

    With red 4x55s, and 2x45s per side, you get to 665 and still have room for a clamp...6 55s per side for 705 total if you can find a clamp to grab the last 1.5"

    I don't pull anywhere near that either, just saying it can be done.
     

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    TangoSierra916

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  • Oct 11, 2017
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    @Vandy321 - I appreciate the reply. Right now im looking at plates that Rogue offers only, not saying theyre the best but they seem to be stocked most frequently. Really down to the Comp Bumpers, Urethane Bumpers, Calibrated Steel plates or Olympic steel plates. Looking at the order i was building I can get 1100 lbs of olympic "standard" plates for $1358 pre tax and $120 ish shipping. Bumpers are much more costly with the Urethane coming in at 2240 pre tax and pre shipping for only 760 lbs. Bumpers like you said are much thicker although the Urethane are 55mm for the 45lb which isnt bad really. My bar is the Ohio Bar at the moment with plans to get a hex bar and Ohio Power Bar soon, pending inventory.

    I agree iron plates are needed for specific lifts theres just a large cost savings going that route and I dont plan to be dropping weights from above my head, more focusing on powerlifts. Many great options out there, I also dont plan to compete but dont want crap gear either. That being said 45lbs is 45lbs so Im leaning more of the olympic plate path due to cost savings, not looking to spend $ just to spend it, I would rather add an attachment to the rack or more dumbbells,etc.but we'll see.

    whats your setup?
     

    Vandy321

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    My gym has all competition plates, love them, they last forever and I've never seen one break. Expensive though, like toy said.

    At the end of the day. It's just weight, dont overthink it...if it were my money, I'd buy the black "lesser" quality rogue plates they are plenty good and can pull dual purpose...and for most humans, you can load more weight than you can pull even with the thicker rubber plates.
     

    padronanniversary

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    the rogue urathane ones in my opinion feel better, when gripping the plate. I have both urathane bumpers and urathane six shooters. The bumpers I usually use for ground work like cleans and heavy deads on my rubber floor due to noise. I personally like the grip the six shooters have to offer. that being said I have one bastard 35 rogue comp plate, which is still slick in my hands.

    but i grew up 30 years ago lifting rusty plates and we dead lifted heavy, threw weights around all on a rubber floor that was thin, with no damage.

    now that being said we also controlled the weight, we were not dropping them from over head doing olympic lifts

    don’t over think it until you can dead lift over 500 or unless you compete. As you lift heavier and preload the bar with a good bar with whip for example with dead lifts, yes thicker weights do matter since it’s further out on sleeve where u leave some of it on the ground as the movement starts. thus the thinner irons.
     

    Gregor.Samsa

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    I have both. I really only use my bumpers for
    My farmers carry bars or if I’m setting up an additional bar for a circuit. Bumpers just get to bulky. That migh be a good thing for Instagram posturing lol.
     

    ColinW

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    Apr 28, 2020
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    I personally have Olympic style competition style plates. For me, I'd rather have bumper plates than steel plates. If I'm pulling a 200kg deadlift PR, I'd like to be able to drop at the top or If you're going for a back squat PR, and can't quite stand it up....it's ok to ditch it. Sure, you could do that with steel plates, but I risk cracking the foundation in my house if I do :) I like the competition style plates because you have more real estate on the bar. Plus, I have no qualms with dropping from overhead. Cant do that with steel
     
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    Gregor.Samsa

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    Good point. I lift on a platform I made with horse stall mats on each side underneath the weights which mitigates the noise and damage issues. I’m not doing very much in the way of Olympic lifts and if I have to bail on a squat or OHP I have the safety spotter arms. No real wrong choice, just comes down to preferences.
     

    ntrinsik

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    I prefer bumpers. Actually sold all my iron weights a couple months ago at a premium with all the gym closures.
     

    5x5

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    I prefer bumpers. Actually sold all my iron weights a couple months ago at a premium with all the gym closures.
    I did not realize they were bringing a premium, I might need to sell the extra 600 lbs I have laying around
     

    Matches Malone

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    Mar 6, 2017
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    I didn’t vote because I reckon it depends on your setup. Mine is outside in the back so I have iron. Dirt floor with a squat/bench rack/pull up Olympic tower and some other stuff. However, I still like bumpers for straight legs and cleans. If yours is inside, you could put one of those rubber mats that looks like a puzzle in their, but bumper would probably be the safest and less noisy depending on the room.
     

    clcustom1911

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  • Oct 23, 2017
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    I have iron weights. Garage where I lift has a couple layer's of horse stall mats. I'd like to get some kind of bumper plates eventually though.
     

    MotoFlier

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    I've always been terrified but tempted to throw my iron plates on a scale. I figure don't ask questions you don't want answered applys here lol. The only down side I see to bumpers is the thickness so I think a combination of Iron/Bumper is ideal. I would like to get a set for deadlifts I use plywood squares under it now because I'm scared of cracking the concrete but even still the sound of setting the bar down with 400+ makes me pucker to the point where I'm scared to push extra reps because if I lost my grip its game over for the floor.
     

    ntrinsik

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    I've always been terrified but tempted to throw my iron plates on a scale. I figure don't ask questions you don't want answered applys here lol. The only down side I see to bumpers is the thickness so I think a combination of Iron/Bumper is ideal. I would like to get a set for deadlifts I use plywood squares under it now because I'm scared of cracking the concrete but even still the sound of setting the bar down with 400+ makes me pucker to the point where I'm scared to push extra reps because if I lost my grip its game over for the floor.
    Build a platform if you can. Super easy to do.
     
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    Jcrios014

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    If I could do it over again I would go bumper plates, my floors would sure look a lot nicer..!